We all wish we could waive a magic wand over our closet and *poof* our wardrobe is eco-friendly, ethical, and oh-so-stylish. But the reality is that to make the greatest impact as consumers, we don’t need a full-on Cher Horowitz makeover, as if! We need to make incremental, purposeful changes that we can incorporate into our daily choices and purchases.
Sustainable fashion begins by working with what you’ve got and staying curious to educate and empower yourself as a consumer. Find a few tips from the experts here that speak to what you value most and start there. These tips will get you on the right track to purposeful purchasing and savvy styling, and once you master a few, add some more to your repertoire!
Always remember, when it comes to wearing your values, sharing is caring! So share your newfound tricks with your circle and keep the conversation going, because only when you #wearyourvalues can true change take place.
Dechel McKillian, Founder of Galerie.LA
Don’t settle for a fling, find loves that last.
“Embrace your own personal style. What makes you feel good, sexy, confident, happy, relaxed etc. Wear items that bring out those qualities. Following fashion trends, bloggers and influencers will have you always consuming to keep up. Buy pieces for your wardrobe because you love them! Make sure the new things you buy will last and you’ll get a lot of wear out of them.
Arrange your closet with outfits in mind. It saves so much time in the morning getting dressed. You’ll also save money by not buying duplicate items you already have in your closet. Since you can see what goes with what, you’ll have better visibility of pieces you already own and how to wear them.
Add a new clothing allowance to your monthly financial budget. This helps to save for the pieces you really want and will make you think twice the next time you’re tempted to impulse buy. Making the switch to sustainable fashion may mean you’ll be paying more than you’re used to, but there are many reasons why the investment is worth it: better quality, eco-friendly fabrics, workers getting paid fair wages, supporting non-profits, the list goes on. When you budget for what you want, it makes the sustainable purchase that much easier and worthwhile. Not to mention you’ll feel better about what you’re wearing which brings out your confidence. Win-Win!”
Adam Taubenfligel, designer & founder of Triarchy denim
Knowledge is power.
“When you want to buy something, read the label and look up the brands you are buying from. Do they talk about efforts they are making to reduce their footprint or give back? If not, there is probably a reason for that. Support brands that are making a difference.
If you’re unsure about something you want to buy, put it down and do a 10 min circle of the store. If you “need” it after that time, then buy it. I find that I go back for the item 5% of the time. Less is more.
When you put clothes on, think about how much water you are wearing, and what you could be wearing that uses a lot less.”
Hillary France, founder of Brand Assembly
Make new friends, but keep the old.
“Mixing vintage pieces with new pieces is such a fun and purposeful way to style your clothing. Not only is it an adventure to hunt for a new vintage find, but you are also being sustainable by recycling the clothing. My all time favorite vintage store is Dolly Python Vintage in Dallas, Texas. Every time I travel to Dallas I have to make a stop there! Another great one is Nina Z in Hudson, New York.
My big passion and the majority of my business is finding emerging designers and helping them reach their highest potential. Luckily, this has made me work with some great brands that are ethically responsible and produce their product sustainably. It is important to recognize where your clothing is being produced and the materials involved.
I support brands who are sustainable and involved with social activism. A personal favorite, Young in the Mountains, is a jewelry brand that works with recycled metals and conflict free diamonds. Artisan work is also a passion of mine, which I love to include in my wardrobe. My favorite shoes are handmade by Italian artisans with high ethical and environmental standards.”
Christy Dawn, Founder & Designer of Christy Dawn
Make dressing a celebration!
“We each have our own unique magic. When we are in touch with that magic, there’s a joyfulness in our being, and it radiates out. People feel it. Make your daily ceremony of dressing a celebration and reminder of your radiant presence, and the rest will flow beautifully!
When deciding on what cloth we adorn our bodies with, it’s important to consider how a piece is made and the impact that process has on Mother Earth and her people.
We are all in this together. Life is so beautiful and so are you! Wear what speaks to YOU. Learn to trust that inner voice, and let it shine through in every choice you make!”
Cover Image: Judeus Samson/Unsplash